Sunday, June 26, 2011

Spiky Yellow Sunflower

What's the symbol of summer?

There are many, but surely the sunflower is one of them!

This one grew tall and beautiful in my garden until the squirrels couldn't stand it any longer and climbed up the stalk for a feast on its seeds.

Enjoy an Etsy treasury (collection of related art pieces and vintage items) named for and in created to celebrate the 


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pink Bearded Iris

How may colors do irises actually come in?

I grew up on a farm, so there was no time or effort wasted on frilly, persnickety flowers.  But one flower that thrived was the iris.  We had a long bed that stretched down the fence row.  It never required a thing.  Oh, how I'd love to have transferred that row of gorgeous irises to where I live now.
I mentioned it in my poem "I Am From Home" in an earlier entry.

This was painted for the June challenge on Studio Atelier.  It's always fun to see the different variations on the chosen image.  All the same, yet all different.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Do you have a favorite tree?

When we built our house, there was a scraggly tree right beside our deck. Our builder left it but warned us that it would probably die because of the trauma that building around it would have caused to its root system. But... it didn't die. And to our delight and surprise it gave us a show of fabulous dogwood blossoms the next spring and every spring since. A couple of winters ago, however, our part of Arkansas suffered a devasting ice storm that left many trees toppled and stripped of branches. We wondered if the damage had been too much for our faithful little dogwood. Sure enough, its blossoms were just as beautiful as always. It's a survivor!

Original Oil Painting on 9"x 12" Canvas Board

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cabin in Greens & Purples

What's the view outside your window?

Do you think the pioneer that built this cabin knew what a fabulous scene would appear on the hillside every year?  Or do you think it was a big surprise that first summer when the purple flowers bloomed?

That thought was what drew me to this image.  It was done as the June challenge for A Day Not Wasted.  Have a look and enjoy the variety of styles... all the same, yet all different.

When we built our house it was summer.  When we moved in it was autumn, and we got the most wonderful surprise with the rich yellows, golds, and reds.  Then when the first spring came, we got an even bigger surprise when we discovered all the dogwoods blooming just outside our back window.

Original Oil Painting on 12"x 16" Wrapped Canvas

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


How do you capture the person, not just the physical likeness?

How sweet is this little one!
Some parts of this painting came so easily for me.
For one, I learned that I love painting with purple - so uncomplicated!.  Just add white as needed... how simple!
Second, I learned that it's the imperfections that add to - not detract from - the story I want to paint... little wisps of hair sticking out here and there, a collar rolled over...

When I was given this commission, I had one overarching desire.  That was to honor who she was without emphasizing what she had.  The physical characteristics which are indicators of Downs Syndrome were a part of her, but they did not define her.  I so wanted to honor this little one through my humble brush strokes... a beautiful, sweet, happy child.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ben's House

How can you keep stripes even?

I loved this technique.  I broke an old hair comb, clipped out every other tooth, then had my perfect tool to keep my boards evenly spaced.

I love simple little cheats!

Saturday, June 4, 2011


How do you paint shades of red?

This was really my first attempt at red, and it was frustrating.  Adding white makes pink... not a lighter shade of red... hmmm... I learned that a light orange helped with the lights adding some purple helped with the darks.

And, then back to the paint recipe for flesh... Well, obviously what worked for Abby and for Tanner didn't work for Amy.  The other thing that was a huge lesson for me on these three paintings was having to study the differences in facial features.  Noticing is half the work.  On my very first painting lesson on February 22, 2007, my teacher said, "I want to teach you to see in a different way."  I love seeing things through a painter's eyes.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Purple Iris

How long does it take to see the silver lining?

I always love hardy flowers like daffodils, lilies,and irises, but this one has a special story. 
A friend gave me a box of iris bulbs as a house warming gift for the house we were building. Unfortunately, we moved in during the week of September 11, 2001. As every American knows, that was a tumultuous time for many reasons. There didn't seem to be time to think through the perfect spot for planting the iris bulbs. Finally I poked them in the ground on a hillside beside our little pond just so they wouldn't dry up and be wasted. 
Every spring after that their flags (leaves) grew up strong and healthy, but never was a single bud or flower produced.
Then two years ago our part of the country suffered the worst ice storm in history. Our beautiful trees were broken and mangled. It took the summer to get the limbs cleaned up. The canopy of limbs was sparse to say the least.
But... surprise... the next spring the irises bloomed and were fabulous! 
The loss of tree limbs was the opportunity for sun that the irises had been patiently waiting 10 years for.

Visit Spring Irises or  Awesome Finds From Arkansas to enjoy an Etsy treasury (collection of vintage items and art pieces) that celebrates purple!  Or visit I Is For.  It's a clever collection of things that begin with the letter i.  And, of course, you have to see Stunning Iris Displays!

Click to purchase "Purple Iris."